The CW DC shows all have a particular sheen of kitsch, but Arrow definitely stands apart as essentially the Days of Our Lives of superhero television. I have watched every episode, and I sometimes question why, but I keep watching; I guess I’m just a completionist. The writing seems almost intentionally bad at times. All of the DC CW shows are under the same creator, and they all have their own tone. But Arrow’s tone seems to be melodrama and cliche. I am not judging it, because that kind of storytelling has its place. But is it really intentionally this way? What do you think?
I have always thought of the CW channel as The cheesy Channel meaning I have never expected to see great acting or great story’s telling. I still watch the shows I just don’t expect much Just to be entertained
As far as I’m concerned the best show on the channel is Supernatural and that’s as cheesy as it gets
I thought it was just me that felt that way. Dude, I do like Arrow when it gets to the good parts, but it always felt to me like 1/3rd of the show was petty drama, 1/3 of the show was flashbacks, and 1/3 of the show was decent superhero fighting action. The Flash does feel a bit more fun, but it’s still kinda got its moments, too. Then again, I’m only on Season 4 of Arrow and Season 2 of The Flash right now, so I hope it doesn’t get worse than it already is.
Superheroes are rather melodramatic in the first place, so it fits.
@WildDog If you have made it as far as you have, you will be fine watching the rest, but they do double down on the petty drama at times.
Arrow is a weird viewing experience for me now, as I find myself rolling my eyes or tuning out, only to be like, “Okay. That was cool.” Then annoyed. Then feeling like I need to know what happens next. Then trying to predict everything only to be right nearly all of the time. It’s a real rollercoaster. But the rollercoaster comes more at a meta level, rather than engagement with the actual story. I’m actually genuinely entertained, but probably not in the way they intend, but I wonder if maybe it’s precisely what they want. And then I wonder, if do, why?
I genuinely enjoy and love The Flash and Legends. Supergirl is mostly solid, but it can be a bit too pedantic for my taste.
@Vroom I agree, in theory, but I do think Arrow is such an inconsistent show that it almost doesn’t fit itself … if that makes sense.
Are you saying it’s wrong to like Melodrama?
@RagdollRebel Not at all. Like I said, no judgement. These are just my reactions and kind of internal dialogue about my relationship to the show. I like that I watch the show; I wouldn’t watch it if I thought it was wrong.
When I try to be objective, as a person interested in how story and semiotics work, it is one of the worst shows that I watch (i.e., least effective semiotically). But it has something. And I guess I am trying to figure out what that something is.
Perhaps it is just pure melodrama, and perhaps that is all it needs to be, and perhaps that is just right.
The thing is, the writers of Arrow (and the rest of the DC shows, including Titans) are going for drama, not melodrama. But a sense of the melodramatic is inherent in any story that mixes drama and action so equally. Most dramas add jeopardy to spice things up, but genre stories-- scifi, suspense, fantasy, and super-hero-- more often add drama to ongoing jeopardy. Which one does Arrow do? It kinda feels like both, and that creates a heightened sense of drama. The other thing that’s different about the dramatic sense on Arrow is that the majority of quiet scenes never move as far off the jeopardy plots as the rest of the CW shows. And then there’s that whole can of worms often referred to as ‘soap opera.’
I never really minded the “soap opera” elements of the show as long as it was written well and made sense in context. Some seasons are worse than others when it comes to this. The worst offenders being 1 (even though I did like 1), 3, & 4. The most recents seasons since 5 have improved so much and feel much less like a soap opera IMO. Season 4 is the worst season of the show period, but the quality of the show gets MUCH better season 5 to present.
All in all, despite the “soap opera” elements, the one thing that is consistent throughout the entire show is the awesome action sequences which is what drew me to the show in the first place. I’ll admit my one concern with a female producer taking over this season was that the quality of the action and the “edgy-ness” would be lost but boy was I worried for nothing. This season has been great and Arrow keeps finding ways to surprise me.
The short answer is yes, the drama is intentional. It’s also necessary. Part of the reason the show has been successful is because of character development, particularly in Oliver Queen. It’s imperative that he experience obstacles, or “drama” so that he can grow as he learns to deal with them. If this didn’t happen, the show would be kinda lame…
Yes, it’s the CW. And What’s wrong with melodrama? Stan Lee made a fine living and co-created an entire comic book universe writing epic melodramatic storylines.
@sirreal_ I really appreciate your thoughtful response; however, my question wasn’t about drama. Of course the show needs drama. I am pointing more at the melodrama. In this case, I am talking about the thinly drawn characters who react in emotionally inconsistent manners, the scenes driven not by character’s genuine desire but seemingly only by the writer’s need to move from A to B, and the sacrifice of any kind of internal logic or consistency in order to maintain unbelievable cartoonish emotion.
Haha. Reading that back makes it seem like I don’t like the show. Whatta ya gonna do?
@bneyed well, I won’t say you’re wrong there my friend:joy: Some of the behavior(s) are quite inexplicable to say the least…But after 100* episodes I think the writers are simply confident that their fan base will be forgiving of implausible scripts/concepts designed to move the story along( I usually do). I completely understand what you’re saying and you’re right, some of the writing is difficult to defend. Why isn’t Diaz dead? Really? They’re just gonna work with him? Thea just never showed up to visit Oliver in prison? Will Mr Terrific ever find his balls again? Why is no one hitting on Dinah?? Kimiko hates the Queens yet dresses and fights EXACTLY like Oliver? Those are just a few thoughts right off the top of my head. The point being I agree with u, but it still is my favorite of the DC shows. I’m gonna ride this wave til the end
@bneyed also, thanks for going easy on me for misreading the initial post, although I do think the two concepts have the same value at this point in the series
That’s CW’s bread and butter baby. Call it cw, the wb, upn, whatever. I call it a hit machine and they’ve been churning out melodramatic ridiculously awesome nonsense since I was watching Buffy and the og Roswell back in high school.
@RobertDeBeero I wouldn’t ever put Buffy next to Arrow; Buffy wasn’t melodrama. While Buffy had a heightened reality and the emotions were extreme, it always earned them through the narrative and was always internally consistent. Arrow and Buffy aren’t even in the same domain.
Don’t get me wrong I looooove Buffy Arrow doesn’t even hold a candle. Shoot I once sent an autographed picture of myself to Alyson Hannigan. Just saying the CW, the Wb, upn, or again the Wb have essentially always been the same tv Co. Mostly aimed at teenagers (or us grown up geeks). And it’s all kinda campy and Goofy and over the top dramatic. To me it’s all rad and fun. Robert DeBeero makes many false claims but none concerning tv!!!
Lol having said all that I spent two hours trying to watch an episode of Arrow last night, had to constantly rewind because I stopped paying attention.
@RobertDeBeero I fully endorse all that you’ve just said. Cheers!